You can use the tools to re-shape and fix the potential bad audio in the post-production, whether you are using De-Esser, De-Clip, De-hum, De-reverb, De-Noise, or some other great modern audio plugins. A combination of these will re-balance the bad audio issues.
Identifying the issue beforehand is very important to ensure you don’t create any more audio problems in your post-production. Whether it’s recorded audio or full production, there are bound to be adjustments that can be made to fix bad audio , so today we will be looking at some of the ways you can fix some bad audio issues you may be facing.
What are the best ways to fix bad audio in post-production?
When dealing with bad audio, you should be able to hear what the problem is, for example, you may have a track that has some clicks and pops – you could fix this by applying a de-click plugin/effect.
So let’s have a look at some techniques that can help you with bad audio.
De-essing (aka de-sibilizing)
This is the process you use to remove the excessive prominence of sibilant consonants, such as the sounds usually represented in English by “s,” “z,” “ch,” “j” and “shh” – these typically are made by the human voice. Still, you may find these sounds appearing in your tracks resulting in an audio problem.
SPL Dual-De-Esser would be a great example that includes a feature where you can control the High-S Reduction and Low-S Reduction. After that, you can be more precise and have more control over the vocals or any other sounds.
How can I remove background noise from recorded audio?
It may be a recorded track; you are having issues removing background noise or hum. Alternatively, you may have a track you are working on; noise can be an issue when synthesizing or even using sample packs.
Let’s explore some methods you can use to eliminate these nasty elements –
Many DAW’s have Silenceor Noise Reductionfeatures, allowing you to remove any unwanted background noise, But let’s say you have already done this, and you are experiencing more noise or hum within your recorded audio.
Well, luckily, we have many tools to our fingertips nowadays; in the case, we want to remove noise, we may decide to use the favorable plugin by waves called ‘X-Noise.’
Alternatively, there might be hum within our recorded sample – we want to reduce this, so let’s pull up an ‘X-Hum.’
Here is what Waves say X-Hum does –
“WHAT PROBLEMS DOES X-HUM FIX?
X-Hum effectively reduces all three of these problems:
- Hum disturbance is usually caused by problematic ground-loop circuits. Steady, low-frequency oscillation may occur in the recording, generally at a
sub frequency of the AC used in that country. For example, Europe uses 240 VAC, so an ungrounded loop can cause a 60 Hz hum. The fundamental disturbance can also cause harmonics at high enough amplitudes to create additional problems.
- Low-frequency rumble is caused by mechanical analog systems, such as turntables and tape machines; it is not steady in pitch.
- DC offset tilts in the audio waveform to one side of the zero baselines.
There a wide range of restoration plugins that can sort out noise/hum/crackle issues; bear in mind what you need to fix before you attempt to fix it!
What is the best way to extract voices from a noisy and very distant recording?
Vocals can sometimes be a headache to process when you don’t have the right acoustic environment, or you have some noise created by your setup.
As we said earlier a lot of DAW’s offer noise reduction options to remove unwanted silence/noise/hum/crackle or whatever it may be but let’s say you have applied these steps but your vocal still is suffering from unwanted noises or sounds distant – maybe some of these tips might be able to fix your recording issues. For instance, we used the FabFilter Pro-Q 3.
Let’s say you try this and you still can’t get the wanted result – you only want that clear, pure vocal (who doesn’t?) well luckily ‘Audacity’ has a cool audio effect that allows you to extract vocals from the selected recording
Here is a tutorial on how to achieve this:
What is the best way to fix a badly distorted audio file?
Usually caused by clipping in either the digital or analog domain, this typically caused by high recording levels or when sounds are excessively loud (e.g., explosions) resulting in hot levels that your recording devices simply can’t cope with. This means they capture what they can discard what they cant; the sound is clipped and missing parts of the audio recording.
Luckily some very smart minds have made the solution – De-Clip plugins are great for this job.
‘ERA4’ offers their version, which automatically detects clipping and tunes the thresholds for you.
Alternatively, ‘RX7’ offers a slightly more in-depth version that allows you to de-clip any damaged audio.
Check out RX7 for some quick and easy audio fixes!
Can I restore dynamic range in “de-compress” a track?
Dealing with a bad dynamic range can make or break your track or piece of recording. It’s key to make sure that you don’t over-compress to preserve your dynamic range, but you might not have processed the track or recording, and you wish to preserve the dynamics.
The answer to this really is yes and no – while you may find that you can restore dynamics on some tracks better than others, it won’t always be a good result.
There is an excellent thread on Quora for this that answers it really well.
Written by Keith Levkoff –
This has already been answered pretty well…. however, I would point out that there are “dynamic processors” that can do the expansion. Izotope Ozone has a four-band dynamic processor, which does a pretty good job of range expansion.
As has already been noted, a lot depends on the type and amount of compression used. Unless they have an actual stored control track, all compressors and expanders operate single-ended, based on the signal itself. This means that the best any one-sided process attempting to undo compression can do is to apply expansion to the signal (increase the dynamic range). It cannot “know” what type of compression was used, so it merely increases the dynamic range of what it currently hears.
This is a serious problem if the range has been compressed so far that there is very little dynamic range left, or if very hard limiting was used. (Range expansion makes the existing dynamic range greater. This doesn’t work very well if there is very little dynamic range, to begin with, both because the process itself becomes more intrusive, and because there’s essentially no dynamic range there to expand. The result is that the processor has to work harder, which increases the chance of audible artifacts, and reduces the chance of ending up with something close to the original.)
Another significant issue is that, with modern recordings, processing like compression and limiting is often performed individually on the original tracks – before they’re mixed. (And probably again to the final mix.) The problem here is that the settings used for each track are probably different. However, when you try to reverse it since the tracks are now mixed together, you’re stuck trying to find a compromise that works well for all or most of them.
(You cannot effectively separate the final version back into individual tracks so you can de-compress each separately. A “multi-band” processor divides the signal by frequency ranges; however, because the frequency ranges of most instruments overlap to a significant degree, there’s really no way to separate the original tracks in the mix in a useful manner.)
When all is said and done, in some cases, a significant improvement is possible; in others, any attempt is bound to make things worse rather than better… and “simple” mixes are more likely to experience better improvement than complex ones.
How do I get rid of audio clicks & pops?
Unwanted clicks and pops can be really off-putting or can really cause high peaks; there are a few nifty plugins we can use to counteract the noises.
BUT before we carry on, it’s useful to know that some of your clicks and pops are caused by poorly chopped audio or incorrectly faded audio.
Always solo channels and loop over your samples or recording to make sure the clicks and pops aren’t there.
So lets you’ve made sure the audio is faded correctly, and the audio is, in fact, clicking the middle of the recording, do not worry we luckily have many De-click plugins to assign to the task.
Waves’X-Click’ is one of the more favorable plugins for the job.
How To Remove Reverb from vocals?
The right Reverb on vocals can be amazing, but the wrong Reverb can wash out your vocals. Alternatively, you might have a pre-recorded vocal with unwanted Reverb.
Luckily we have a few techniques to help you out –
RX7’De-reverb’ this offers the ability of gods! Or to take the Reverb away from anything you want – you decide!
There are few alternatives, but this for me personally is the best option – offering a user-friendly interface and very effective result this plugin is a no brainer for removing your unwanted Reverb.
Having a look at some old school tips, I found this one by JamieSee:
‘One old technique for this is to copy the track or tracks, invert the phase on each and apply a high ratio compressor to the inverted track. When you mix the treated tracks with the originals, the parts that were left by the compressor will cancel out. See De-Verb for Free: Removing Reverb using Free Plugins for a fairly good explanation of this technique. Fair warning, though, it can require a fair amount of tweaking time to get the sound right.’
I hope you have been able to fix any of your bad audio issues from reading this, remember to identify the issue first and then execute the right methods to eliminate the problem you face.
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I have been helping others understand music production, mixdowns, and mastering for a number of years. I have always found it rewarding to see people progress within this field – making the information digestible and engaging.